In a shocking turnaround, the Lagos State High Court has admitted that the coroner’s inquest which indicted the engineers and contractors of The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) guesthouse that collapsed is at fault.
According to an exclusive report leaked online, Justice K.O. Alogba of the High Court of Lagos State, Ikeja Division stated that the coroner lacked the powers to recommend the prosecution of the contractors.
While delivering his ruling on the application for judicial review filed by the lawyers to the Registered Trustees of The SCOAN on Wednesday 2nd March 2016, Alogba equally faulted the conclusion of the coroner which stated the tragic collapse of the building was due to structural failure.
The trial into collapse of the guesthouse which resulted in the deaths of 115 people has been fraught with controversy from its onset.
In its verdict of July 8, 2015, the coroner headed by Justice Oyetade Komolafe had recommended the prosecution of the contractors that handled the construction of the collapsed building, a ruling that has faced immense legal challenges ever since.
The SCOAN immediately claimed the ruling was ‘biased’ and ‘one-sided’, maintaining that external forces sabotaged the building and the collapse was the result of an ‘attack’, not any structural defect.
Justice Alogba had earlier refused the prayer of the Lagos State Government, urging the court to strike out the application for judicial review.
Alogba submitted that the application was legally viable as it was filed within the three months period stipulated.
The new ruling from Justice Alogba has effectively halted the recommendation by the coroner that the contractors should be prosecuted.
Ihechukwu Njoku is a freelance Nigerian journalist…